Sometimes in my dreams, I am running. I can feel the wind beneath my feet, and I am in awe of my body as each step propels me forward with ease and grace. It is breathtaking, freeing, exhilarating.
And then I awaken, and I am faced with the reality of a body that can't run, legs that seize up whenever I try to move quickly. I am faced with the reality that I probably never will run. I will never know exactly what it feels like. And that hurts.
I remember when I was three years old, and I asked my physical therapist why I had to do exercises.
"Because you can't run," she said, and I was crushed.
I listen to my brother complain about cross-country practice."You wouldn't understand," he says, and then he sees my face.
No, I don't understand. But I wish I did.
If I didn't have CP, I would run until my legs gave out on me, run for the sake of running. Because I could.
Yet at the same time, I know that I do run. Not in the physical sense of the word, but through my writing. When I write, I feel that same exhilaration and freedom that I experience in my dreams. And I guess that is what having CP is all about: discovering new ways to accomplish the impossible.